The Medieval Festival

WHIDC has produced the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park since 1983. This one-day festival has grown into the largest scheduled event in all NYC Parks, routinely attracting over 60,000 – 70,000 visitors.

About The Festival

Photos by KG IMAGEZ

Event Details:

SUNDAY, October 4, 2020
FROM 11:30 AM To 6:00 PM
Free Admission

This year’s festival will be the thirty-sixth (36th) presented by the Washington Heights & Inwood Development Corporation, a privately and publicly supported not-for-profit corporation.

The event is produced in conjunction with the New York City Parks Department.

The festival is held in the area surrounding the world famous Cloisters, a magnificent museum of medieval art located in Fort Tryon Park near the northern end of Manhattan Island.

The park offers vistas of the Hudson River and the picturesque Palisades: a setting reminiscent of Europe eight centuries ago.

The Medieval Festival brings to life the customs and spirit of the Middle Ages. Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park is transformed into a medieval market town decorated with bright banners and processional flags. Performers, guests and festival goers dress in medieval costume. Visitors are greeted by authentic medieval music, dance, magic, and minstrels, as well as jugglers and jesters. The afternoon is concluded with a thrilling joust between four knights on horseback. Costumed vendors will be on hand to demonstrate and sell a wide variety of medieval crafts as well as food and drink.

Festival Programs & Ad Rates

Attendance at the past four Medieval Festivals has exceeded 65,000 people and it’s a great advertising opportunity. Visitors come from all over NYC and the region, about a quarter come from Upper Manhattan.

Ten Thousand (10,000) programs (8×11, 24 pages) will be printed and distributed to visitors free of charge at the festival. Your ad will also appear on our website (WHIDC.org) for one year.

You may submit your ad or ad copy and application to MedFest@whidc.org. PDF format preferred. TIFF, EPS or JPEG files must be a minimum 330 DPI or attach a business card/logo/ad copy to this document. WHIDC can change the type, layout a simple ad design and add clip art at no additional charge. CYMK color art or B&W only.

Download 2019 Program
Download Ad Rate Sheet

Vendor Opportunities

Are You interested in becoming a vendor at the Medieval Festival?

Vending is an essential part of the Medieval Festival. Vendors create a medieval atmosphere for our guests. Each year we are committed to selecting a variety of quality craft, merchandise, service, and food vendors to satisfy all visitors and exhibit life from the middle ages.

Download Vendor Application

Selection Criteria

It is the intention of the Festival to have the best handmade crafts and artisans. Crafts must compliment and blend with our medieval theme. The artist selling the products must design, produce, and finish the products, or the production and finishing must be under direct control of the artist. All items to be displayed and sold must receive approval from WHIDC.

We are committed to providing an immersive and delectable food and beverage experience for our visitors. We are looking to satisfy a variety of diverse taste buds with an assortment of traditional medieval times food and drinks while incorporating modern cuisine and refreshments. To provide the best opportunity for our vendors and variation for our customers, we carefully consider each vendor and their product offerings.

Presentation and context for your ride, game, or activity should relate to medieval times in a manner that evokes the theme of our event. Activities that are demonstrations should be interesting and educational at the same time. Games should be exciting, and, most of all, fun.

We want your readings to reflect a positive air. We want readings to be fun and mysterious for our patrons. Some of our patrons may never have had a reading before, and we want this to be a positive experience for them.

What to Expect Upon Acceptance to the MEDIEVAL Festival?

If you are accepted, you will receive two copies of an Exhibitor Letter of Agreement. Both copies must be completed and returned to WHIDC, along with the appropriate fees, by the deadline set forth therein. After both copies of your Letter of Agreement are returned to WHIDC, the festival manager will sign them, and one copy will be returned to you. Registration fees begin at $350. Fees and percentages are based on the nature of your business and space used.

Exhibitors may sell their products out of period tents, carts, or vardos. Contact the festival manager to discuss the availability of spaces. You may want to see spaces and their surroundings before making a final decision about whether or not to join the Medieval Festival. You may obtain photos and/or make an appointment to see the site and spaces for tents, carts, and vardos. You MUST obtain approval from WHIDC’S Office prior to setting up a tent, cart or vardo.

You must have a $1 million liability insurance policy with a $2 million aggregate naming Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation/ Medieval Festival as additionally insured. A copy of your Certificate of Coverage must be on file in the WHIDC Office before the festival date. Exhibitors not holding liability insurance cannot open their shops. Failure to insure is grounds for termination of your Letter of Agreement. Information on obtaining liability insurance is available through the festival manger.

If you are selling taxable products, you must obtain a New York State Tax ID number. A copy of your Tax ID certificate must be on file in the WHIDC office. Exhibitors not holding this certificate prior to the festival date cannot open their shops. Temporary numbers and applications for numbers will not be accepted. The ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE must be kept in your shop during the Medieval Festival hours. New York State requires the festival to file a Report of Show reporting the Tax ID numbers of all exhibitors that participate in the Festival. Information on obtaining a NYS Tax ID number is available through the festival manager.

The WHIDC Office is here to assist new exhibitors in making their entrance into the Medieval Festival as smooth as possible. We are available to answer questions, participate in conversations about product lines and shop locations, or address any other concerns.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers make the festival possible with the generous donation of their time. Lots of fun volunteer placements are available the day of the festival.

Volunteer Placements Include

  • Information booth: Distributing programs and answering questions.
  • Costume Tent: Distributing costumes to volunteers and performers, making repairs as needed.
  • Vendor Assistance: Working with vendors to welcome them, direct them to their assigned spots, and general assistance.
  • Decorating Team: Supplying vendors with decorations for their tents and booths.
  • Staff Hospitality Area: Checking staff passes and serving lunches.

In addition to a shift during the festival, all volunteers are asked to help with either set up or clean up on the day of the festival.

Please let us know which you would prefer.

Contact Information

Medieval Festival,
Washington Heights & Inwood
Development Corporation

611 W 177th Street
New York, NY 10033

Phone: (212) 795-1600
Email: MedFest@whidc.org

Visitors Information

Event Location:
Fort Tryon Park
Riverside, Dr To Broadway,
New York, NY 10040

Rain date: October 11, 2020
No Parking on Sunday October 4, 2020 from 12:01am- 8pm on Cabrini Blvd. from West 190th Street to Margaret Corbin Circle.

Vendor Opportunities

Have something to sell at this year’s festival? Check our selection criteria.

Download Vendor Application

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers make the festival possible with the generous donation of their time.
Check available volunteer placements.
Email: volunteer@whidc.org
Become a Volunteer

Past Festival Sponsors

The office of the Manhattan Borough President, David Rockefeller, The Lila Acheson Wallace Foundation, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, major New York City banks, The New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The New York City Council.

Additional support comes from craft and food vendor fees and individual donations by festival visitors.